The Income Tax Department is mulling a major educational drive to update professionals, taxpayers and representatives of trade bodies about the initiatives being taken by it with regard to online grievance redressal and e-filing of returns.
The drive is aimed at updating stakeholders who have not been able to keep pace with the changes initiated by the department in the recent past, according to a communication sent to Chief Commissioners of about four dozen I-T zones across the country.
These initiatives form part of the milestone set by therevenue department which are to be achieved in 3, 7 and 15 years time frame, which included extension of outreach programme to all major cities havingincome tax offices.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that the field of tax payer services in the I-T department has become very important with new initiatives and emphasis of the government on e-governance.
The CBDT said it has noticed that taxpayers and professionals have not been able to keep up with the pace of change and hence wide gap has emerged between the initiatives undertaken by the department and the acceptance by the stakeholders.
“Unless people are driven home with the new initiatives in the field of tax payer services and got used to working therewith, the objectives of e-governance will get defeated,” it said while highlighting the need to educate tax payers by organising workshops at each station in India.
In order to provide a fair and transparent tax administration and improved taxpayer service, the I-T department has taken several steps including that of paperless assessment, streamlining scrutiny assessment proceedings, and gradually moving towards e-mail based scrutiny.
Besides, CBDT has directed all its officers to mention e-mail address and phone numbers in all communications to facilitate electronic interface of the taxpayer with the department.